Expert Comments: The Arbitrator's Seven Deadly Sins - ARIA - Vol. 33, No. 4
Carlos Alberto Carmona - Professor of Procedural Law and Arbitration at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil.
Gustavo Favero Vaughn and Paulo Cristofaro Di Celio - LL.M. graduates from Columbia Law School (Class of 2022)
Originally from The American Review of International Arbitration (ARIA)
This article is premised on a speech delivered by Professor Carlos Alberto Carmona at the School of Law, University of Coimbra during its Sixth International Arbitration Meeting. Professor Carmona featured on a panel that discussed “The Great Court of Arbitration,” in which he juxtaposed negative aspects of the arbitrator‘s role and conduct with the seven deadly sins of the Bible.
This article was conceptualized in October 2016 when I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the prestigious Sixth International Arbitration Meeting, held at the traditional University of Coimbra School of Law in Portugal. At the arbitration meeting, I was part of a panel that discussed the topic “The Great Court of Arbitration,” in which the organizers—experienced arbitrators—wanted us to explore the virtues and faults of arbitrators. I specifically addressed the more reprehensible side of arbitrators’ conduct, examining what happens (1) before accepting their appointment; (2) during arbitration, while performing this jurisdictional function; and (3) after the arbitration proceeding has concluded. Excited by the opportunity and looking to make my speech more stimulating, I challenged my inner creativity, taking an approach that juxtaposed certain behaviors that exist among arbitrators with the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are—gluttony, pride, wrath, greed, sloth, envy, and lust. The spirit of these comparisons is reflected in the arguments that follow.
II. GLUTTONY: THE UNYIELDING DESIRE TO BE AN ARBITRATOR
I will begin with gluttony, the sin commonly associated with the insatiable desire to eat or drink. Within the context of this study, it is possible to understand gluttony as an unwieldy, disproportionate, and unreasonable desire to act as an arbitrator.
The first scenario in which this desire manifests itself concerns the “arbitrator clubs,” which are pools of potential arbitrators at local and international levels that tend to see a significant number of their members appointed to arbitration panels. It so happens that these pools may be both for the good and to the detriment of arbitration.